Vibration testing is the repeated oscillation about a central point at a specific level and frequency, meant to mimic the effects of ‘shaking’ experienced by products in everyday use.
This shaking can be a result of nearby reciprocal machinery or the uneven road surface experienced during transportation from factory to customer. Both situations can be accounted for by vibration testing methods and simulated long before full production, allowing for design changes to be made before finalisation and thus saving manufacturers and customers money in the long run.
Is it Necessary?
For certain products vibration testing is a requirement that is a necessity of law in order for it to be a commercially saleable product. In such a case, the vibration testing is done as part of the type approval and performed by an accredited institution. The UKAS accreditation, which Axis Test Laboratories has obtained ensures that the highest of engineering procedures are adhered to, with full traceability of all aspects of the processes performed.
Not all products require vibration testing as part of the approvals process. However some third party customers request it to be done on components or structures as it proves the quality of manufacture and provides peace-of-mind that important and in some cases critical components will not fail due to the oscillations and shocks experienced in day-to-day usage.
What can it tell us?
Vibration testing is an excellent identifier of weaknesses in the construction and extensive vibration testing can help to locate problems long before they occur.
This can often be critical in products which are not accessible and failure could cost a business in lost time and revenue if it is required that processes are halted to replace a faulty component.
Vibration testing helps assess the suitability of products for their environment by showing resonant frequencies likely to be experienced and proving that extended exposure to such frequencies will not adversely affect the performance of the finished product.
What Issues Can Vibration Testing Detect?
The issues and potential problems which vibration testing can expose are many and varied. Imbalances in the construction can stress the materials and cause metal fatigue, which can result in cracks, fractures and breakages resulting in the inability of the product to carry out its intended function and potentially resulting in injury and the loss of production.
The assessment is not just limited to the physical observations. For many products, full functionality is a requirement, particularly for safety critical equipment. As part of the vibration test schedule at Axis Test Laboratories, inputs and outputs of systems can be monitored to ensure no loss in signal or degradation of performance and that the equipment under test continues to function as normal both after and during any testing experience.
What Type of Product Can be Tested?
Essentially any product can be vibration tested, provided the machine used to generate the oscillations is strong enough to hold the weight of the item to be tested. For larger constructions it may be a requirement to test individual components.
For equipment used in the vicinity of reciprocating machinery or that require transportation and utilise delicate, critical components, it is highly advised that vibration testing be carried out even if it is not a requirement of the associated standard. Doing so will prove the quality of design and help prevent returns and failures.
With experience in testing subsea constructions, high pressure pipeline connections, VMS and light systems, Military products and a broad range of sensors and sensor equipment; Axis Test Laboratories are able to meet the requirements of your testing needs and provide bespoke solutions that will ensure your products meet the demands of a competitive quality-focused marketplace.